Memory a day #12 – Tourist Trap

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My friend and I made our way down from Ubud to Kuta at noon on our motor bikes with our backpack’s on our back and between our legs. We rode for what I remember to be about 2 hours or more in the blazing sun in between manic traffic. We were only 15 minutes away from Kuta when we were stopped by a police officer. I should have been a little wiser about wearing my big pack with the word SMILE and a Canadian flag on the back. Talk about a bullseye. He asked for our international licenses. Guess what. We didn’t have one. So what did he threaten to do? Send us to court. What did he expect us to ask? “Is there any other way officer?” Of course. Money talks but he didn’t let us bargain and so ended up paying him the equivalent of $30 Canadian dollars each which isn’t bad but that’s the equivalent of almost three days in Indonesia. Later I found out from a friend who lives in Indonesia that it was just tourist trap and that there’s absolutely nothing that the justice system would have done to us and that we didn’t even need an international license to drive in Indonesia. I’m not sure what would have happened but $30 to continue on our way wasn’t too bad. This came one day after we paid $5 for the two of us for riding the wrong way through one way street Ubud. Funny how the tourists were the only ones stopped while the locals rode right by in their fabricated two way street. It’s really more amusing than frustrating though. It’s all memories.

 

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